Monday, December 16, 2013

Marriage Monday: Create It!




Come up with a list of 3-5 things you can work on this week/month to create more happiness in your marriage. Write them down. Hang them up where you can see them often. Consider sharing them with your spouse. If your spouse is willing, encourage them to do the same. At the end of the week/month check in with your list. How did it make you feel to try the things on your list?

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.




Monday, December 2, 2013

Marriage Monday: Great Love


Do small things with great love.





Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.




Monday, November 25, 2013

Marriage Monday: The Marriage Box



Most people get married believing a myth that marriage is beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for; Companionship, intimacy, friendship etcetera. The truth is, that marriage at the start is an empty box, you must put something in before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage, love is in people, and people put love in marriage. There is no romance in marriage, you have to infuse it into your marriage. A couple must learn the art, and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.




Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.




Monday, November 18, 2013

Marriage Monday: Duty




"The first duty of love is to listen." -Paul Tillich





Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.



Thursday, November 14, 2013

Reading Report 16


What I read from
October 14-November 14


Gallant Lady: 
A Biography of the USS Archerfish 
by Ken Henry and Don Keith
Historical Fiction. War. History

Stories about what role the Archerfish played in WWII and the Cold War. How she sunk the largest ship ever sunk by a submarine. Men lining up to be assigned to serve on Archerfish, and had the Navy's only all bachelor crew.  Also memories from those who were aboard, from actual days out at sea to how they entertained themselves at port. 

I actually picked this up for my husband many years ago and finally got around to reading it myself. History and war buffs would enjoy this one. I liked it but it was rather lengthy for my interest.


Making Faces 
by Amy Harmon
New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Reviewed a few posts back. Read my full review here

I'd recommend this book.


The Autistic Brain: 
Thinking Across the Spectrum 
by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek
Scientific, Non fiction

Incredibly fascinating, this book weaves both scientific studies and her own experiences. She herself has autism and so participated in many many studies through out the years and tried to find the best ways to use her knowledge and skill sets in a way that would help further her education and employment.

If this book sounds interesting to you, I'd recommend it! I've never read anything on the topic of Autism before but I have nieces and nephews on the spectrum so I enjoyed hearing more about the studies and ways to encourage and enhance their abilities.


Jim Henson The Biography 
by Brian Jay Jones
Non fiction, biography

Growing up knowing he wanted to be on television, Jim Henson found a way to make that happen. Fun look on the many projects (Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth) and the folks that worked along side in the studios, puppets and creator shop to bring these projects to life. 

Totally enjoyed this one! Interesting to hear about how each project got started, who's idea it was, how it was presented to finance backers or television shows. And how some of the projects took much longer than expected to get rolling and how the company even came to be. And how it all happened because of the man Jim Henson was. 


The Lucy Variations 
by Sara Zarr
Young Adult, Contemporary


Lucy worked hard to be where she was on the piano concert circuit but after being pushed too far (by her family) she walked away. Now, months later, she is trying to decide if it's what she still wants, if it would make her happy. And if it is, if she'd even be allowed to have it.   

I have read a lot of Sara Zarr books. This is one of the authors on my 'automatic' list. As in, when they write something new I will absolutely read it. With that being said, this wasn't my favorite of hers, but still a good read. I think the topic of turning your passion into a job and still loving it, could be spread/relateable across many artistic subjects and that alone may appeal to many to want to pick this one up. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Marriage Monday: Improve Your Relationship




Here's an article by AskMen on The 10 Proven Ways to Improve Your Relationship

I pulled a few out of their list to share today. I actually had written, in my own words, what these topics meant to me and why I pulled them out but then I had another idea. I thought it'd be fun if you were to come up with your own reasons why these are important. Or maybe even what you could do to put these topics into use in your relationship. Here are four of the ten. Follow the link below to read more in depth on the topics and to get the complete article.



-Solidify your friendship

-Appreciate each other

-Find common goals

-Understand anger



Read the rest of the article here:
http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/10-proven-ways-improve-relationship-222400940.html


Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Making Faces by Amy Harmon (& Blog Tour Giveaway)




Title: Making Faces
Author: Amy Harmon
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: October 2013

Add it: Goodreads | Shelfari

About the book:
Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

My review: This is my third Amy Harmon book and one thing I love about her books is that they feel so complete. Making Faces fit right in. The character development is strong and thoughtful. Many times I felt like a fly on the wall, or even that I was a part of the town, the group of friends.

This book is a beautiful testament to true friendship. It's about people finding their way and figuring out more about themselves as they over come their own challenges and helping  friends through theirs. It's about being a part of a community, something bigger than yourself. But it's about finding out why you matter, why it's ok to fix yourself and not have to fix the world. It's about finding your worth.

Excerpt: 
He didn't know how to make her understand that she was so much more than just pretty. So he leaned forward and pressed his mouth to hers. Very carefully. Not like the other night when he’d been scared and impulsive, and smacked her head against the wall in his attempt to kiss her. He kissed her now to tell her how he felt. He pulled away almost immediately, not giving himself a chance to linger and lose his head. He wanted to show her he valued her, not that he wanted to rip her clothes off. And he wasn't sure when it came right down to it that she wanted to be kissed by an ugly SOB. She was the kind of girl that would kiss him because she didn't want to hurt his feelings. The thought filled him with despair.

She let out a frustrated sigh and sat up, running her hands through her hair. It flowed through her fingers and down her back, and he wished he could bury his own hands in it, bury his face in the heavy locks and breathe her in. But he’d obviously upset her.

“I’m sorry, Fern. I shouldn't have done that.”

“Why?” she snapped, startling him enough that he winced. “Why are you sorry?” 

“Because you’re upset.” “I’m upset because you pulled away! You’re so careful. And it’s frustrating!”

Ambrose was taken back by her honesty, and he smiled, instantly flattered. But the smile faded as he tried to explain himself.

“You’re so small, Fern. Delicate. And all of this is new to you. I’m afraid I’m going to come on too strong. And if I break you or hurt you, I won’t survive that, Fern. I won’t survive it.” That thought was worse than walking away from her and he shuddered inwardly. He wouldn't survive it. He had already hurt too many. Lost too many.

Fern knelt in front of him, and her chin wobbled and her eyes were wide with emotion. Her voice was adamant as she held his face between her hands, and when he tried to pull away so she wouldn't feel his scars, she hung on, forcing his gaze.

“Ambrose Young! I have waited my whole life for you to want me. If you don’t hold me tight I won’t believe you mean it, and that’s worse than never being held at all. You better make me believe you mean it, Ambrose, or you will most definitely break me.”

“I don’t want to hurt you, Fern,” he whispered hoarsely.

“Then don’t,” she whispered back, trusting him. But there were lots of ways to cause pain. And Ambrose knew he was capable of hurting her in a thousand ways.

Ambrose stopped trying to pull his face away, surrendering to the way it felt to be touched. He hadn't allowed anyone to touch him for a long time. Her hands were small, like the rest of her, but the emotions they stirred in him were enormous, gigantic, all-consuming. She made him shake, made him quake inside, vibrate like the tracks under an on-coming train.

Her hands left his face and traveled down the sides of his neck. One side smooth, the other riddled with divots and scars and rippled where the skin had been damaged. She didn't pull away, but felt each mark, memorized each wound. And then she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his neck, just below his jaw. And then again on the other side, on the side that bore no scars, letting him know that the kiss wasn't about sympathy but desire. It was a caress. And his control broke.


Purchase:
    
(Kindle)

Or purchase here:  Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Amazon UK | iTunes


More about the author:
Amy Harmon knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Amy Harmon has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called “What I Know” – also available on Amazon and wherever digital music is sold. She has written five novels, Running Barefoot, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue and coming October 20, Making Faces.



I'd highly recommend these other books my Amy Harmon: 


Follow Amy Harmon:  Facebook | GoodreadsTwitter | Blog 


Blog Tour Giveaway (open internationally)


1st prize

  • Kindle Paperwhite 
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card 
  • Signed set of all 5 of Amy Harmon’s books! 

2nd prize

  • Signed copy of Making Faces 
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 4, 2013

Marriage Monday: Honor




"What is honored is cultivated." -Plato



What do you honor?


Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.



Thursday, October 31, 2013

Celebrations Aplenty

Happy Halloween

Also known around here as the day we got engaged. 
(That bottom right picture is from the actual day in 2001.)

And a little Throwback Thursday Halloween style.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Marriage Monday: Matters More




"What you do every day matters more than
 what you do every once in a while."
 -Gretchen Ruben, The Happiness Project



How can you positively apply 
this to your marriage? 



Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.





Wednesday, October 23, 2013

PaperBack Swap


So it's been around for a while but I just found it. 



Here's how it works. You sign in, list a handful of books you're willing to swap and you get 2 credits (to start). You can go browse for books you'd like and use your credits. When others find books in your shelf that they want they request them. Each book you mail (and they receive) you earn another credit. You can then use those credits to request books of your own.


It's free. You just pay to ship your book (generally about $2 a book for medial mail) and it's yours to keep or list again and swap with someone else. Then when you request a book, they send it to you for free!

It's especially helpful if like me, your town library doesn't offer a huge selection. Also if you like to take your time reading and the library deadlines always come too fast. Plus it helps if you don't like to spend lots of money on a book.  This really helps clear out some of the books on your bookshelf...oh and then collect new ones. :) And if you really can't find anything you're in the mood to request, there is an option to buy to give you great discounts on books using those same credits.

I signed up about two weeks ago and have already mailed out a few handfuls of books and requested a few of my own.

Something fun to consider if you're a book lover like me.



Click here to sign up or learn more. 
Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

Or go to http://www.paperbackswap.com
and use "Cranberryfries" as your referral. 


Anyone else use this too?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Marriage Monday: Support & Inspire




Your words have great power. 
Use them to support and inspire. -Karen Salmansohn




Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Reading Report 15

What I read from
September 12- October 13

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson 
Contemporary, Young Adult, Metal Illness
Laurie Halse Anderson has a knack for writing real and raw topics and doing them well and even beautifully. This is a story about a teen dealing with an eating disorder, anorexia. It is told from her perspective so we see glimpses into a possible reality for those who suffer from this disorder. It's heartbreaking and haunting and dark and even a little hopeful. This book has some language


Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Regency Romance
I reviewed this a few posts back. You can find it here
But in short, it was fabulous.


The Thing About Jane Spring by Sharon Krum
Adult, Romance, Chick Lit
A hard as nails woman lawyer doesn't know what she's doing wrong, why she can't get a man. So she finds someone it's worked for and uses her strategy. It just so happens, this person is Doris Day. From rough around the edges to simply sweet, does it end up working? Interesting plot idea but I thought the characters were a little weak. This one to me dragged on and on.


Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman
Dystopia, Middle Grade, Childrens
After World War III this little town is trying to sustain themselves by encouraging everyone to invent something every year. Hope is 12 and kinda stinks at this big time. She's brave and risk-taking though and enjoys jumping through the Bombs Breath (the off limits gas left over from the war). When bandits come into town Hope is determined to help any way she can. A cute dystopic story for young kids. I really think my 10 year old would love this one.



Update on my 2013 goal:
Current total 87/100 books (8% ahead of schedule). 
I gotta sprint to the finish line to hit my goal.

Did you set a goal this year? 
How are you doing with it?



Monday, October 14, 2013

Marriage Monday: A Happy Marriage is





"A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers." -Ruth Bell Graham



Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.




Monday, October 7, 2013

Marriage Monday: Climb the Palm Tree


So I'm sharing this snippet today in hopes that it at least does one thing. That it gets you talking to your spouse about sex. 

I am a firm believer that it is healthy and appropriate to talk to your spouse about sex. If you do already, yay! Give yourself a pat on the back.  If you don't, consider taking baby steps. Learn for yourself what you like. Tell your partner one of those things at an appropriate time. Ask your partner what they would like. Try it the next time you are feeling comfortable enough to do so.

There are many other ways to do this. Consider checking out a book on the topic (there are lots, it might take a little wading through to find one that you like), go on a date with your spouse specifically to discuss this topic (tell them before hand so they can prepare their thoughts too!), schedule an appointment with a professional therapist, write your thoughts down (and consider sharing it, or some of it with your spouse), etc.

Alright with out further ado, a little laugh for your Monday.




This video is from Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage Seminar by Mark Gungor. You can find more information and see a few other videos on his website Laugh Your Way.


Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.



Friday, October 4, 2013

Winner of Blackmoore



Congratulations!


Becky J!

Check your email! :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson (& Giveaway!)

Title: Blackmoore
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Genre: Regency Romance
Release Date: Sept 10 2013
ISBN: 13: 9781609074609
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Pages: 320

Add it: Goodreads | Shelfari

About the book (from Goodreads): Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead—if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured—and rejected—three marriage proposals. Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free? Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart. It is Wuthering Heights meets Little Women with a delicious must-read twist.


My review:
This is easily one of my top 3 favorite books of the year (and to put that into perspective I just hit book 85 for 2013). Julianne writes fun descriptive characters that we get to see layers of as the story unfolds. I really enjoyed the quirky plot line and hauntingly beautiful scenery. Kate has a hard life at home, a family that just doesn't get her, appreciate her, or love her but she has good friends who she adores and helps her grow into the woman she is. Henry and his sister Sylvia provide a great duo for Kate.  And I just couldn't get enough of the sweet-natured man that Henry was!

I appreciated that each character stayed true to their personality and I loved that even though I tried to guess a step ahead I didn't ever quite get it all right. I found myself wanting to savor every interaction between Kate and Henry yet wanting to quickly read so I could find out how the story was going to leave me (but I savored it!).

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone I know. It's completely appropriate for the young girls I work with at church group but also adult women will get a total thrill from the well written romance.

There is much more I could tell you personally, about why I loved this book but I'm afraid if I wrote exactly why, it would contain too many spoilers, so if you get a chance to read it and want to gush I'm totally available!


Buy it here:
                      Paperback                            Kindle
                      


More about the author: Julianne Donaldson grew up as the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. She learned how to ski in the Italian Alps, visited East Berlin before the wall came down, and spent three years living next to a 500-year-old castle. After earning a degree in English, she turned her attention to writing about distant times and places. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children.

Facebook: Julianne Donaldson
Website: The Official Site of Julianne Donaldson

FYI Julianne's first book Edenbrooke is just 1.99 on kindle right now!



Win it!

I LOVE being able to share delightful, wonderful, good books with my friends. So I'm going to do a giveaway of Blackmoore to all my lovely readers! One (1) winner will receive one copy, either paperback or kindle version, of Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson provided by Cranberryfries blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 23, 2013

Marriage Monday: Inspiration



I found this article online and thought it'd be fun to share for one of my posts. Every time I read a self-help article I realize not everything works for everyone so keep that in mind and think of how you can apply these or change them to work for you and your relationship. Pick a few to do this week! There are a lot of fun ideas so please jump over to the original article by Janel and read her other great points! Here's the first ten. 




1. Initiate great sex.
2. Send him an email. Example: “Praying for you today. Thanks for being so courageous in [insert specific area].”
3. Give him one night on a regular basis to do something he loves.
4. Consistently mention ways you see him growing to be more like Christ.
5. Ask him about his “bucket list.”
6. Give him a book, audio CD, or ticket to learn about something he loves doing.
7. Ask him about some dreams he has — and pray about them together, evaluating them. Then ask how you can help him go after them.
8. Text him. Example: “REMINDER: I BELIEVE IN U.”
9. Make sure he feels respected by you.
10. Leave sticky notes in his lunch, on his steering wheel, in his briefcase, etc. “So proud of all you’ve been doing with ___.” “You are so great with our kids.” “You are my dream come true.” “You are an incredible lover.”


(Click the link to check out the rest of her list!)


You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.





Monday, September 16, 2013

Cover Reveal: Making Faces by Amy Harmon





Title:  Making Faces
Author:  Amy Harmon
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Expected Release Date:  October 20, 2013
Cover Design:  Amy Harmon
Photography:  Hiskey Photography
Cover Reveal Organized By: Cristina’s Book Reviews and Vilma’s Book Blog
Add it to GoodReads: Making Faces

Pre order from Amazon:  






Synopsis:
Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.
Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.


About The Author:


Amy Harmon knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Amy Harmon has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called "What I Know" - also available on Amazon and wherever digital music is sold. She has written five novels, Running Barefoot, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue and coming October 20, Making Faces.


Author Links:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5829056.Amy_Harmon?from_search=true
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramyharmon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aharmon_author
Blog: http://www.authoramyharmon.com

Excerpt:
He didn't know how to make her understand that she was so much more than just pretty.  So he leaned forward and pressed his mouth to hers.  Very carefully.  Not like the other night when he'd been scared and impulsive, and smacked her head against the wall in his attempt to kiss her.  He kissed her now to tell her how he felt.  He pulled away almost immediately, not giving himself a chance to linger and lose his head. He wanted to show her he valued her, not that he wanted to rip her clothes off.  And he wasn't sure when it came right down to it that she wanted to be kissed by an ugly SOB.  She was the kind of girl that would kiss him because she didn't want to hurt his feelings.  The thought filled him with despair.
She let out a frustrated sigh and sat up, running her hands through her hair.  It flowed through her fingers and down her back, and he wished he could bury his own hands in it, bury his face in the heavy locks and breathe her in.  But he'd obviously upset her.
“I'm sorry, Fern. I shouldn't have done that.”
“Why?” she snapped, startling him enough that he winced. “Why are you sorry?”
“Because you're upset.”
“I'm upset because you pulled away!  You're so careful.  And it's frustrating!”
Ambrose was taken back by her honesty, and he smiled, instantly flattered.  But the smile faded as he tried to explain himself.
"You're so small, Fern. Delicate. And all of this is new to you.  I'm afraid I'm going to come on too strong. And if I break you or hurt you, I won't survive that, Fern.  I won't survive it."  That thought was worse than walking away from her and he shuddered inwardly.  He wouldn't survive it.  He had already hurt too many. Lost too many.
Fern knelt in front of him, and her chin wobbled and her eyes were wide with emotion. Her voice was adamant as she held his face between her hands, and when he tried to pull away so she wouldn't feel his scars, she hung on, forcing his gaze.
"Ambrose Young! I have waited my whole life for you to want me.  If you don't hold me tight I won't believe you mean it, and that's worse than never being held at all.  You better make me believe you mean it, Ambrose, or you will most definitely break me."
“I don't want to hurt you, Fern,” he whispered hoarsely.
“Then don't,” she whispered back, trusting him. But there were lots of ways to cause pain. And Ambrose knew he was capable of hurting her in a thousand ways.
Ambrose stopped trying to pull his face away, surrendering to the way it felt to be touched. He hadn't allowed anyone to touch him for a long time.  Her hands were small, like the rest of her, but the emotions they stirred in him were enormous, gigantic, all-consuming. She made him shake, made him quake inside, vibrate like the tracks under an on-coming train.
Her hands left his face and traveled down the sides of his neck. One side smooth, the other riddled with divots and scars and rippled where the skin had been damaged.  She didn't pull away, but felt each mark, memorized each wound.  And then she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his neck, just below his jaw.  And then again on the other side, on the side that bore no scars, letting him know that the kiss wasn't about sympathy but desire. It was a caress.  And his control broke.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reading Report 14

What I read from 
August 28-September 11

Summer was so slow for my reading (I think I read 4 in 4 weeks) but I'm happy to see that I'm back with a bang. Here's what I read the last 2 weeks.


After Hello by Lisa Mangum
Young Adult, Contemporary

Sarah is in NYC for only one day and runs into Sam who brings her along om a quick job. Only it turns into a little more than either expected. How much can you learn about yourself and a new friend in 24 hours?
I felt like this one could have had a stronger punch. The characters were solid, the writing good, the storyline was interesting but I felt I knew the story by about 1/3 into the book.  I wish it would have been, I dont know, a tad deeper maybe? With that said it was still a cute story and fun read. 


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Childrens

I seriously haven't ever read this before so it was great to finally get to see the original work. I love both the movies so I was sure it'd be a good one. Plus it was fun to see what each movie pulled into their story from the book.


Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) by Saray Mlynowski
Contemporary, Young Adult

April is 16 but her parents have moved and she wants to stay at her high school to finish the year. She somehow convinces her parents to let her live with her friend Viv with no adult supervision (small lie) for the rest of the school year. April uses her freedom to make some pretty adult decisions and also gets to deal with the consequences. 

I'd probably give this one a loose 3 stars. It was just a little to care free for my taste. The plot was interesting but I felt the characters could have used some more depth. 


How to Talk to Your Child About Sex by Linda and Richard Eyre
Self Help, Parenting

It's never too soon or too late to talk to your kids about sex and values.

Like any self help book I took what I liked/agreed with and considered the rest. Helpful ideas in how to prepare yourself and your kids for the sex talk, and also ideas on exactly what, when and how much to say. 


Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Young Adult, Contemporary

Caroline's grandma (who helped raise her) is passing away. One night she has a decision to make, stay or go. Told in the format of how the story would unfold in two directions from that decision.

I really liked this one! I think the story of two perspectives really drew me in. Each chapter switches back and forth from her decision to stay or go and shows us where the paths may have led. This is a classic 'girl trying to figure herself out' but I liked the twist of the story telling and I enjoyed Caroline and Chris the most.


Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
Childrens

Another oldie that I just got around to reading. I read it alone but I'm excited to read this with my kids too. 





Monday, September 9, 2013

Marriage Monday: 7 Habits of Sexually Satisfied Couples



Todays Marriage Monday is from a post by Kristin Hodson MSC. LCSW., co-author of Real Intimacy.



Talk, talk and talk some more

I cannot emphasize this enough.  I cannot tell you how many calls we would get on the radio from people expressing sexual dissatisfaction, wanting a solution and I’d ask, “have you talked with your partner about this?” and 9 out of 10 times the response would be no.  It doesn’t matter how many “how-to” tips you get from the latest gossip magazine, or how many self-help books you read, the only way to improve your sex and intimacy is to go to the source and talk about things directly with your partner.  If you are not sure how to talk about sex and intimacy with your partner, check out my article 7 Ways to Talk About Intimacy and STILL Remain Friends over on FamilyShare.com

Approach sex like you do dining

When it comes to food, we allow for a variety of dining experiences without getting bent out of shape or feeling like there is the “right” way or place to be eating.  Just think about the different eating experiences there are.  We have fast food for those moments when we just need to eat because we are tight on time, budget or just are craving something quick.  There is fine dining which creates the mood for longer conversation, slower eating and top notch customer service.  Then you have restaurants, like Chili’s where the menu has something for everybody and it could be a go-to as a place of compromise.  Sex and intimacy are the same way.  Allow your relationship to be open to a variety of intimate experiences, pending on the circumstances.  There are unlimited dining choices.  It’s important to be creative and adaptable regarding your intimacy. Read a more in-depth excerpt from the chapter, “How Sex is Like Dining” from my book Real Intimacy: A Couple’s Guys to Genuine, Healthy Sexuality” 


Find the rest of the habits and read the full article
over at the The Healing Group. 




Utah folks: Check out On The Edge of The Bed: A Tastefully Sexy Workshop for Women happening this Saturday, Sept 14th in Salt Lake City.  It's a 6 hr workshop full of great education. Go read the rest of the article above for a promo code of $20 off registration!



*Quotes used with permission from The Healing Group. A big thanks to Kristin for letting me spotlight her article on my blog today.




You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Marriage Monday: What is success?



"What is success? Ask a dozen people and you may get a dozen different answers. A friend of mine said, 'Success is making the most of who you are with what you've got.' I like that definition. Every poerson has teh potential to make a postiive impact on the world. It all depeonds on what we do with what we have. The truly successful people are those who help others succeed.
The same is true in marriage. A successful wife is one who expends her time and energy helping her husband reach his potential for God and for doing good in the world. Likewise a successful husband is one who helps his wife succeed. An old adage says, 'You can't helpa  man uphill without getting closer to the top yourself.'"


Above quote from The Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman


You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Reading Report 13

What I read from 
July 28th-August 27

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Adult, Romance, Humor
A bet misunderstood but it's seemed to entwine them so quickly they can't stop needing each other.


Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Young Adult, Contemporary
Heartbreaking yet feel good.  Set in the 80's we meet Eleanor who's had it rough, and Park who generally keeps to himself. Yet the two of them find in each other something no one else has provided yet.
(The first chapter or two are the roughest in terms of language.)


Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie
Womens lit, Romance, Comedy
Her Bradley or someone else's? Cop Zach overhears her conversation at the diner and assumes he's one in the same. After someone shoots at them, he's by her side to protect her as he figures out this mess. Funny and romantic, just the way I like it.



The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Young Adult, Fantasy (mystery/thriller)
A little Jack the Ripper come to life in modern day. Rory thinks she saw the killer and now she's the next target but she's getting help from her new friends.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Marriage Monday: I Feel Loved


A fun little activity to try together: 





Here is a link to the pdf so you can print this off for your own personal use. 



You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.




Monday, August 12, 2013

Marriage Monday: Love Story



[Image Source]
"Someone else's love story is never going to be yours.
True love is woven out of honoring and understanding each other's unique gifts, vulnerabilities, and eccentricities." -John Gottman, Ph.D



[Image Source]
"Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite."



You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.




Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Reading Report 12

What I read from June 20-July 27

I took like 3 weeks off after I hurt my leg. I was to restless to focus on reading so the last four of these have been in the last 2 weeks. 


The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Middle Grade, Mystery
Read this one for book group and picked it up on audio book. It was a fun easy read and I think I'll let my 10 year old listen too (since she's always begging me for books to listen to at bedtime). Flavia is 11 and is interested in all things chemistry (and making poisons) so when she finds a man dying in her garden she's sure she can help solve the mystery of how and why he ended up there.


Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie
Mystery
Abby is a psychic intuitive and is sad to find out she couldn't warn one of her clients about her own death. Later when her blind date turns out to be a detective on the case her business and love life both get a little more interesting.


Lord Haversham Takes Command by Heidi Ashworth
Regency Romance
A Miss Delacourt Adventure (I've read a few others, Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind, Miss Delacourt Has Her Day )
Turns out I am a sucker for a really good regency romance. This is a fun one to be sure! Harry and Ginny are lifelong friends and when Harry returns in time to see Ginny have her season he has to both finish his previous duties and make sure Ginny isn't spoken for before he gets his chance. 


So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti
Young adult, contemporary
I had a hard time getting into this one. It felt just over the line of believable (I realized books can do that but still) so it was hard to connect for me. Once I was about 1/3 of the way in though, the story and characters picked up and I enjoyed it. Still very fluffy though.
  

Thief by Tarryn Fisher 
(#3 in the Love Me With Lies series)
Adult, Romance
Gosh this is just it's own genre to me. It's not quite a romance. This is the 3rd in a series and all three are pretty interesting! Tarryn Fisher has a way of making you both love and hate and feel for these crazy, but very plausible characters. Once you start you'll get sucked in! These books aren't for everyone, there is language and sex.